This formula applies broadly to nearly every area of life in that it says that influence over how people think about Why is always greater than influence over how people think about What. Everyone talks about what about homosexuality is wrong. Few talk about why anything at all is wrong. This is where the Christian faith and worldview ought to be held in stark contrast to all others. We have a unique claim, through our scriptures and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, to having access to the answers to those why questions. In other words we know The One who knows why.
But some of the answers just aren’t written out explicitly. There just isn’t anywhere that says outright, “thou shalt not allow men who identify as women to share bathrooms with little girls.” So how do we know it’s wrong to allow the mixing of biological genders in restrooms and locker rooms? This is where how I talk about the formula will become familiar to those already interested in Apologetics. It’s called the Moral Argument or The Argument From Morality (because it seeks to prove the existence of God based on the existence of morality) and it goes something like this:
- If objective moral values and obligations exist, God must exist.
- Objective moral values and obligations do exist.
- Therefore, God exists
Saying it doesn’t make it true, so we have to be prepared to discuss and defend the first two points in order to sustain the conclusion. This is particularly important when we try to counter the moral revolution at work in the culture today because it is attempting to undermine objective morality itself. The good news is that the objectivity of morality is ultimately undeniable. No matter how tolerant is the ethic or worldview a person subscribes to certain lines will not be allowed to be crossed. This is especially evident in the moral revolution when those opposed are labelled bigots and intolerant. This begs the question, at what point is it ok to be intolerant? Certainly the revolutionary is perfectly fine with intolerance toward the one’s they themselves have labeled intolerant. If we lose businesses and ministries for refusing to bend to the revolution so much the better as far as they’re concerned. In their view this is justice.
The other good news is that the self contradictory nature of their enterprise makes it incredibly easy to counter philosophically. The trouble comes when we try to counter it rhetorically and legislatively. This is why the formula is important. We have to expand our influence over how people within the Christian worldview think about why anything is right or wrong, but we also have to make inroads of influence outside of the Christian worldview as well. We have to start by influencing people to care that there even is a why and we do that by bringing it up A LOT.
When, for example, your co-worker says that it’s a great thing that Target is opening restrooms for both genders to their transgendered employees, just look them in the eye and say simply, “Why?” And follow their answer with another why question. Put yourself in a three-year-old frame of mind and just continually ask “why?” You’ll find one of two things will happen, either the person you’re talking to will try to give you reasoned answers, with varying degrees of difficulty, or they’ll retreat to mindless sloganeering. If the former happens you have successfully employed the formula. Notably, you’ve influenced another’s thinking without risking revealing your own stake in the issue. Try it even with people you agree with. You’ll find that very often they haven’t thought very deeply about why they believe some of the things they believe about morality either.
Just to be clear, don’t be obnoxious. The point is not to make your friends and co-workers suicidal, it’s simply to make them stretch their thinking ever so slightly. The truth is that this moral revolution will not be countered successfully in the halls of the legislature until it has first been defeated in the minds of the revolutionaries and for this victory we will often have to be satisfied with winning inches rather than miles.
The next thing we’ll have to do is critically important, although it’ll be mostly undertaken internally, away from the view of a watching world. We have to be honest in our approach to the truth. If God is the author of truth we have to approach the truth head on and put our fears and anxieties aside. We can’t give pandering answers to the hard questions the moral revolution asks, we have to speak the truth. We have to speak lovingly but boldly. We have to challenge our own thinking and our own dogmas.
What if two men “marry”, live in that marriage for the remainder of their lives, and experience what they perceive as true joy and fulfillment? What have we to say to them of their sin and need for God? Are we to abandon them to Hell? What if a woman aborts her baby and never regrets it, never doubts the legitimacy of her decision? What have we to say of God’s condemnation of her action? Can we speak to her of God’s care for the child? Don’t we think our Lord came even for these?
To address these questions and so many others will require monumental effort, but we serve a more than monumentally able God. Together with Him and each other we can stand though a thousand may fall (Psalm 91:7, paraphrased), and we will.